Archive for October 23, 2012

Allegheny County Competition Saves $119,177 in Reduced Utility Bills

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today announced that the John J. Kane Regional Center-Ross Twp. won the first Allegheny County Green Building Competition, a friendly five-month contest among employees at Kane-Ross, the County Jail, County Office Building and Shuman Juvenile Detention Center. The goals were to reduce electricity and water usage and to promote sustainable thinking and actions in employees’ day-to-day work. Teams earned points in various categories, including energy conservation, alternative transportation, recycling and waste reduction, water conservation, and green purchasing.

“Collectively during the five months, our competing employees saved an estimated $119,177 in electricity and water by reducing consumption,” said Fitzgerald. “Kane-Ross won the challenge by achieving the highest point total for its sustainable actions, including cutting its average monthly electricity usage by 8.6 percent and its average monthly water usage by 15.4 percent.”

The estimated cost savings due to reduced electricity and water usage were: $54,863 for the County Jail; $35,749 for the County Office Building; $14,841 for Kane-Ross; and $13,724 for the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

The county’s Sustainability Office used the online sustainability community to communicate with employees and encourage their competitiveness and creativity when it came to thinking and acting in a sustainable manner.

As a reward, all employees at Kane-Ross will receive a free admission to Kennywood courtesy of the competition’s gold sponsors, Green and Continental Power Corporation, and silver sponsors, Duquesne Light Energy, NORESCO and AECOM.

“Congratulations and a big thank you to the employees from all four of the competing buildings,” added Fitzgerald. “We need each and every one of our employees to be part of our sustainability efforts and to help us operate our facilities more efficiently. The Allegheny County Green Building Competition demonstrates that individuals can drive these objectives.”

The Allegheny County Green Building Competition was inspired by Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Green Workplace Challenge, which took place from September 2011 through October 2012. The GWC engaged Southwestern Pennsylvania’s business community in a fair and friendly competition that produced real reductions in resource use and greenhouse gas emissions, while promoting sustainable business practices. Allegheny County not only won its category in the Green Workplace Challenge, but it also achieved the highest point total of any participating organization.

To learn more about PCI Partner Allegheny County’s sustainability initiatives, visit

9-month Temperatures Are Hottest in Last 65 Years

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last week that temperature data recorded at the Pittsburgh International Airport has shown that the first nine months of 2012 in Pittsburgh were the hottest in 65 years.

The article reported that other cities in the region that also experienced warmest ever first nine months of the year, including Erie (87 years), Harrisburg (65 years), Scranton (63 years), Allentown (65 years), and Philadelphia (65 years) in Pennsylvania; Buffalo, N.Y. (74 years), and Cincinnati (65 years), Cleveland (74 years) and Columbus (65 years) in Ohio.

M. Granger Morgan, who heads Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy, said NOAA’s temperature numbers are another example of how mounting data continues to support the probability that climate change is occurring.

“What has happened is that scientists are looking at extreme heat and extreme precipitation and extreme events and looking at the probability that the events could occur by chance,” Mr. Morgan said. “But the odds are continuing to shrink that this is not just variability, and that all of these events are related to climate change.”

Read the full story at:
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9-month Temperatures are hottest in 65 years, by Don Hopey, October 10, 2012.

Pittsburgh 2030 District

First announced in August 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District is a collaborative, nationally recognized, but local community of high performance buildings in Downtown Pittsburgh.  District-wide goals include 50% reductions below national and Districts baselines in energy, water, and transportation emissions by the year 2030, along with carbon neutral new construction by the year 2030.

Convened and facilitated by Green Building Alliance (a Pittsburgh Climate Initiative Partner), the Pittsburgh 2030 District is currently focused on Downtown Pittsburgh, with 65 properties totaling 23.9 million square feet already committed to reaching for District goals.  Both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are Property Partners of the Pittsburgh 2030 District and partners of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative.

District Property Partners are solidly supported in their quest by 25 Community and Resource Partners — a long list that includes the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative and its individual Partner organizations (Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Student Conservation Association, and Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Learn more about the Pittsburgh 2030 District at